The Best Ski Resorts in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan & Beyond!

It’s that time of year again folks! Winter season is nearly upon us which means there is no better time to start planning your next ski trip! And we’re here to help you find the perfect resort – whatever your location and whatever your skill level! We’ve listed the best ski resorts in every major ski hub in the Northern Hemisphere including the USA, Canada, France, Switzerland, Austria, Japan (and more!) along with the ultimate resort guide for each. Each resort summary includes the size of each ski area, breakdown of runs designated green, blue, red and black, the best lift pass deals and suggestions for ski hire companies in resort plus the best place to stay and any noteworthy features we could find!

It sounds like a lot – and it is – but we like to think it’s a pretty good resort finder and winter wonderland ski guide which will help you narrow down, plan and book your next ski vacation in no time at all. And before you go – we’ve got a ski trip packing list (with free PDF checklist!) to get you all ready to go.

The Best Ski Resorts to Ski This Winter

The Best Ski Resorts in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan & Beyond!

The Best Ski Resorts in the USA

Park City

Park City UtahRecommended by Dan at Honeymoon Always

Location: Utah
Height of Ski Area:
2072m – 3048m
Skiable Area: 60km (8% Beginner, 42% Novice, 0% Intermediate, 32% Advanced, 18% Expert)
Notable Features: Largest resort in the USA, 4 terrain parks, 1 Superpipe + 1 Minipipe
Other Attractions in the Area: bobsledding on the track from the 2002 Olympics, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, tubing and much more.

Resort Guide/Overview:
Located at 6,900 ft above sea level and going up to 10,000 ft at the highest peak, Park City UT is considered one of the best ski resorts in North America. In the past few years they have combined with the neighboring Canyons resort making it the largest ski resort in the US and is one of the first resorts that spring to mind when you think about Utah skiing. It currently has over 300 trails with plenty for any experience level.  For the adrenaline junkies, there are also four terrain parks, one Superpipe, one Minipipe and plenty of other features throughout the mountains.  If you are a beginner or have kids wanting to learn there are several ski schools that will make it easy.

One of the great aspects of Park City is being only 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Once in Park City there is plenty to do on and off the slopes. Main Street provides great shopping for art and clothes as well as theaters and bars to enjoy a film or live music.


Plan Your Trip to Park City This Winter

Where to Stay (Ski in Ski Out):
The St Regis Deer Valley (Luxury)
Hyatt Centric Park City (Mid-Range)
Grand Summit Hotel (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Passes To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Equipment Hire
Find a Flight + Hotel Combo Deal for your Park City vacation


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Sun Valley

Sun Valley Ski ResortRecommended by Katie at Traveling Spud

Location: Idaho
Height of Ski Area:
1752m – 2788m
Skiable Area: km (36% Beginner, 42% Novice, 0% Intermediate, 22% Advanced, 2% Expert)
Noteable Features: Largest super pipe and terrain park in North America + 200km of cross country ski trails
Other Attractions in the Area: Snowshoeing, watch the Sun Valley Suns Ice Hockey Team, Fat Biking, Snowmobiling, Ice Skating, Fishing (wrap up warm!) or take a sleigh ride.

Resort Overview:
Sun Valley, Idaho has a bit of history to it as it is the first destination winter resort in the United States and is home to the world’s first chairlifts! They were installed at the resort in 1936 and the facility has been up and running ever since. Sun Valley has been a popular vacation destination for skiers and snowboarders over the years and is especially popular with celebrities who love to enjoy their holidays hidden from large crowds.

Sun Valley is unique in the fact that it has 2 mountains to ski on. Mount Baldy is the largest with a variety of terrain and is best for advanced and intermediate skiers/snowboarders with 65 runs and more than 3,400 of vertical feet. Baldy has also implemented Adventure Trails for children. Dollar mountain is where most beginner skiers learn when they come to the resort and the mountain also has North America’s largest super pipe and a terrain park with 76 rails. The best part about the Sun Valley Resort is that it isn’t overcrowded and gets a lot of powdery snow each season.


Plan Your Trip to Sun Valley This Winter

Where to Stay :
Sun Valley Resort (Luxury)
Limelight Hotel Ketchum (Mid-Range)
Best Western Tyrolean Lodge (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift PassesTo Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Get a great deal on Sun Valley Flight + Hotel Packages


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Winter Park

Winter Park ColoradoRecommended by Melanie @ Adventure Family Life

Location: Colorado
Height of Ski Area:
2743m – 3675m
Skiable Area: 143km (24% Beginner, 38% Novice0% Intermediate, 34% Advanced, 5% Expert)
Notable Features: Colorado’s longest continually operating ski resort

Resort Overview:
In a state known around the world for skiing, Winter Park holds the unique distinction of being Colorado’s longest continually operating ski resort and is constantly ranked as one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. The resort opened in 1939 and has been operating every season since then. The park has more than 3,000 skiable acres and more than 300 inches of annual snowfall. The three interconnected mountain peaks: Winter Park, Vasquez Ridge and Mary Jane can all be accessed with one lift ticket. The park has 166 designated trails and more than 1,200 acres of back-country skiing which includes the challenging but popular Vasquez Cirque.

Winter Park is one of the state’s most versatile ski areas and truly offers something for everyone. It has a fantastic beginner area, plenty of easy greens and one of the best Ski and Ride schools in the state. Alternatively, for the experienced skier, the Mary Jane side of the resort offers a true challenge. Often ranked as the best ski resort in America for mogul skiing, Mary Jane is sure to test your skills. The U.S. Frestyle Mogul team even comes here to train. If you are Worried about driving up the snowy mountain pass? You can choose to arrive in comfort by catching the Winter Park Express train conveniently from Union Station in downtown Denver.

If you are looking for a break from the skis or the board, check out the Coca-Cola Tube Park at Winter Park. The park has four exciting tubing lanes with banked curbs, a conveyer lift and warming lodge with concessions. The town near the ski resort is fairly quiet with little in the way of night life. However, you will find plenty of low-key pubs and bar-and-grill type establishments to relax with friends over a glass of Colorado craft beer.


Plan Your Trip to Winter Park This Winter

Where to Stay :
Winter Park Mountain Lodge (Luxury)
Trailhead Inn (Mid-Range)
Best Western Alpenglo Lodge (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift TicketsTo Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire test
Save money on your ski vacation with these Flight + Hotel Deals




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Aspen

Aspen ColoradoRecommended by Tom at TravelTomTom
Location: Colorado
Height of Ski Area:
2400m – 3800m
Skiable Area: 110km (10% Beginner, 43% Novice, 19% Advanced, 28% Expert)
Noteable Features: When eating at the restaurants in town, you can get your meal at a fraction of the cost by sitting at the bar!

Resort Overview
The resorts slogan is “The Power of Four” – due to the fact there are actually 4 mountains that make up the resort of Aspen. With more than 5,300 acres of terrain between Snowmass, Aspen Mountain (Ajax), Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, there is plenty of terrain for skiers and snowboarders to explore. The Aspen Resort town itself has numerous restaurants, shops, bars and clubs and you definitely wont get bored and on the mountain itself there are a bunch of places to dine or have a drink while enjoying incredible views.But the best thing about Aspen itself – in my opinion – is the bus the Snowmass. This Mountain is about 30 minutes away from Aspen and also included in your lift ticket. The runs are wider, longer and the ski area is way bigger than Aspen itself. If you come for the skiing than this is your place to go, but hop back on the bus to Aspen for the nightlife. Another incredible thing about the Aspen ski area is that they host the X Games on the nearby Buttermilk mountain. That time of the year prices rise incredibly but the event is one of the best winter festivals I have ever been to, including big dance events with big international DJs.

Plan Your Trip to Aspen This Winter

Where to Stay :
Hotel Jerome (Luxury)
Viceroy Snowmass (Mid-Range)
Snowmass Mountain Chalet (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Equipment Hire test
Take the stress out of planning with a Flight + Hotel Package Deal


 

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Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Ski resortRecommended by Ann from Travel The Globe 4 Less

Location: Wyoming
Height of Ski Area:
1923m – 3185m
Skiable Area: 22km (9% Beginner, 34% Novice, 41% Advanced, 17% Expert)
Noteable Features: The ski resort receives an average of 450 inches of snowfall each year and boasts a vertical drop of more than 4,000 feet
Other Attractions in the Area: Yellowstone National Park & Grand Teton National Park

Resort Overview
Jackson Hole WY is a ski resort like no other and one of the top ski resorts in North America. Not only does it have some of the hardest terrain I have ever skied, but when your thighs are burning and your heart is pounding from the relief of successfully navigating your way down one of the vertiginous slopes, there is a huge wealth of other activities to entice you. How about a trip to Yellowstone to see the bubbling, frothing hot pools hinting at the power of the super volcano below? Or a trip into the Tetons on a snowmobile?  You can take dedicated trips to find wildlife on the plains and in the forests and it has a fabulous yoga studio if you want to stretch your frazzled muscles.

If you are a diehard ski or snowboard fan, you will be spoilt for choice with 133 pistes, 12 lifts and over 2,500 acres of terrain, one involving a 4,139 vertical drop. That must have been the one where I almost had a meltdown before thankfully being guided to safety by one of the on hand mountain guides. The highest lift whisks you up to 3,185 metres and the longest piste will challenge even the strongest legs at a whopping 7km long.

Resort signs warn you that the ‘mountain is nothing like you have ever skied before’ and this is an apt description. This resort has it all – wildlife, incredible mountains, the cutest airport not to mention a town that looks like the set of a wild west movie. Don’t miss the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, appropriately named considering this is not a ski resort for people on a budget!!


Plan Your Trip to Jackson Hole This Winter

Where to Stay :
Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa (Luxury)
Cowboy Village Resort (Mid-Range)
Snow King Resort (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Find the perfect Flight + Hotel deal for your ski holiday


Become a ski instructor

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The Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin - JasperRecommended by Victoria at Follow Me Away

Location: Within Jasper National Park
Height of Ski Area:
1698m – 2612m
Skiable Area: 45km (30% Novice, 30% Intermediate, 20% Advanced, 20% Expert)
Noteable Features: Variety of groomed runs; Rogers Terrain Park including S,M,L and XL features including jumps, rails, boxes and jibs; Mini Terrain Park: S and M features including rails and boxes
Other Attractions in the Area: Dog sledding (outside the national park), snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and ice-skating on frozen lakes; or if you’re brave/crazy you can take a (very chilly) dip in a non-frozen lake!

Resort Overview
Marmot Basin is one of the top things to do in Jasper during the winter! The ski resort is located only 10 minutes away from the town of Jasper but thousands of feet above it. Marmot Basin has 86 named runs on 4 mountain faces so there is plenty to do! The great thing about Marmot Basin is it is a huge resort but doesn’t feel like it! All of the ski slopes let off in one small area so getting from one area to the next is super easy. In addition to a ton of expert terrain in the form of black diamond and double black diamond slopes, and multiple ski parks, Marmot Basin had a ton of green “easy” slopes for newbie skiers. You could ride the highest ski lifts they have and still be able to go all the way down the mountain on “easy” trails. This is wonderful for beginner skiers because they aren’t left to stay on one bunny slope the entire time and have a ton of options! When you are done skiing, head into Jasper and warm up with a cup of coffee while you share stories with locals!


Plan Your Trip to Marmot Basin This Winter

Where to Stay :
Crimson Jasper (Luxury)
Pyramid Lake Resort (Mid-Range)
Whistlers Inn (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Find a Flight + Hotel Package for the perfect vacation


 

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Panorama

Panorama Ski ResortRecommended by Missy of The Journey Project

Location: British Colombia
Height of Ski Area:
1150m – 2375m
Skiable Area: 23km (20% Beginner, 55% Novice, 0% Intermediate, 25% Expert)
Noteable Features: Taynton Bowl offers 5km of Double Black Diamond Runs
Other Attractions in the Area: (In Invermere) Radium Hot Springs, Ski Rental and Repair shops, games arcade, ski school, massage therapist and day lodge.

Resort Overview:
Panorama Ski Resort is nestled in the Purcell Mountains just past Invermere in British Columbia, Canada. Panorama receives an average snowfall of 500cm and has an average winter temperature of -5 degrees Celsius, but If you’ve never been to Canada, be prepared for erratic fluctuations in temperature!
If you are in British Columbia between the ski season of December and April, you’ll be able to ski some of the 125 named trails on the mountain. With three tiered chairlifts to take you from the base (1150m) to the summit at 2375m high, and a few other chairlifts around the mountain, this beautiful resort offers a huge variety of ski runs for every skill level out there.

The number of runs for each skill level is a fairly even split. The higher you get, the more difficult the path, with mostly expert and advanced trails and only one moderate trail available from the summit to the next tier down. From the next tier you then have mostly moderate trails, which, combined with advanced trails, make up 55% of the runs on the mountain. From the last tier to the bottom there are mostly beginner trails and these make up about 20% of the runs. There is also an area for children, so families can enjoy the slopes!
Panorama offers the full package, and as such the prices can often reflect this. Staying in the lodges and being able to put on your skies right outside your balcony is worth the price tag. The free access to hot pools after a hard day skiing doesn’t hurt either!


Plan Your Trip to Panorama This Winter

Where to Stay :
The 10 Best Ski Hotels in Panorama
Pre-Book Your Lift Passes To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Book your Flight + Hotel together to save money



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Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler BlackcombRecommended by Marissa at Postcards To Seattle

Location: British Colombia
Height of Ski Area:
675m – 2284m
Skiable Area: 67km (18% Novice, 55% Intermediate, 22% Advanced, 5% Expert)
Noteable Features: North America’s largest ski resort and despite being 2 separate mountains they are often skied together
Other Attractions in the Area: Sliding Center (used as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics) and where you can try luge, bobsleigh and skeleton runs!; Helicopter tours; Ziplining; Relax at a Spa and all within 2 hours of Vancouver.

Resort Overview:
Whistler – There are 19 lifts on the mountain, taking you to a variety of beginner (20%), intermediate (55%), and advanced (25%). There are two parks in Whistler. Eight restaurants are on top of the mountain. The most famous features is the Peak2Peak, which is a gondola that crosses over the ski valley between the two mountains to connect them. It’s easy to ski one mountain in the morning and head over to the other after lunch.

Blackcomb – There are 17 lifts, and 15% of the runs are for beginners, 55% are for intermediate, and 30% are for advanced. There are three parks, a superpose, and one snow cross track. Nine restaurants are on top of the mountain. Whistler Village at the base of the mountains has a good nightlife, with many bars having outdoor patios with heat lamps to enjoy drinks after a day on the mountain. Multiple dance clubs are in the village, and live music is often found at the Dubh Linn Gate, the Irish pub in the village.


Plan Your Trip to Whistler Blackcomb This Winter

Where to Stay :
Four Seasons (Absolute Luxury)
Nita Lake Lodge (Mid-Range)
Legends (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Find a Flight + Hotel Combo for the Perfect Whistler ski vacation


 

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Big White

Big White Ski ResortRecommended by Kevin from Wandering Wagars

Location: Kelowna, BC
Height of Ski Area:
1508m – 2319m
Skiable Area: 23km (30% Beginner, 37% Novice, 0% Intermediate, 30% Advanced, 3% Expert)
Notable Features: Snow Parks, Tubing, Cross Country Trails
Other Attractions in the Area: Big White Village has the most ski in/ski out accommodation in Canada

Resort Overview:
The Canadian Rockies are famous for their incredible ski resorts. From Whistler, to Banff and more. But in the clouds above the Okanagan wine region in Kelowna, British Columbia is one of Canada’s best ski resorts. Big White. With 118 designated runs ranging from beginner through to extreme, Big White has sweet, sweet powder that is perfect for all skill levels. Big White Mountain tops off at 2,319 m in height. The views from the summit are epic. And the runs could have you carving for weeks before you hit the same patch of snow again. You can also avail of the resorts backcountry, tree runs, and even heli-skiing options.

Big White Ski Resort is a top of the line village as well. They offer amazing shopping, 5 star restaurants and pubs and clubs that will make your après-ski experience just as much fun as your time on the hills. The evenings also offer over 38 acres of night skiing. So that 750 cm of annual snowfall won’t go to waste.


Plan Your Trip to Big White This Winter

Where to Stay :
Sundance Resort (Luxury)
White Crystal Inn (Mid-Range)
Inn at Big White (Budget)
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Find a Flight + Hotel Deal for the perfect Big White Ski vacation


 

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Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain Canada

Recommended by Janine at Fill My Passport – Image (c) Andrea Hamlin Photography

Location: Ontario
Height of Ski Area:
230m – 450m
Skiable Area: 30km (27% Beginner, 27% Novice, 0% Intermediate, 46% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Year Round resort that offers offers multiple summer activities as well, including lift-served mountain biking, golfing, kayaking, wine tasting, hiking and helicopter tours.
Other Attractions in the Area: Yoga Studio, Skating Ring, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling

Resort Overview:
When travellers consider a trip to Canada, most flock out West to British Columbia and/or Alberta. But being an Ontarian, I can most certainly vouch for the beautiful scenery, landmarks, and experiences waiting for visitors within my home province. (and not just Niagara Falls!). As heading out West can be expensive and sometimes difficult, those of us craving a winter holiday complete with ski slopes, skating rinks, snowboarding, snowman-building conditions, and all things winter wonderland, Ontario’s answer is Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood Ontario.

Situated just two hours North of Toronto, Blue Mountain has everything a devoted skier could want including 14 lifts, elevation of up to 720 feet and more than 364 acres of land ready to be explored. Whether a family, a couple, a tour, or a solo traveller, Blue Mountain has everything you could possibly want. Whether you take it easy on a bunny slope or test your ability on a black diamond run, Blue Mountain has runs for all levels and abilities.


Plan Your Trip to Blue Mountain This Winter

Where to Stay:
The 10 Best Hotels for your Blue Mountain Ski Vacation
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Get a great deal on a Flight + Hotel Combo


 

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The Best Ski Resorts in Austria

Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen AustriaRecommended by Gemma at Two Scots Abroad

Height of Ski Area: 1650m – 2500m
Skiable Area: 136km (36% Novice, 51% Intermediate, 13% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Home to the yearly Snowbombing Festival
Other Attractions in the Area: Toboggan, sleigh rides and paragliding

Resort Overview:
Mayrhofen, Zillertal Valley is situated in the west of Austria. Mayrhofen ski is famous for its two mountains, Ahorn Mountain (south) and Penken Mountain (west). The resort itself is at 630m whereas the slopes range from 1,650m and 2,500m, guaranteeing a good run at the snow season which starts in December and ends in April, making it one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Both mountains have enclosed lift access from the town of Mayrhofen. Ahorn is suitable for beginners as there are 9.0 km of blue runs to test the legs. However, some of the blues can be quite tricky. Mayrhofen is also home to the 2km Harakiri Run, deemed one of the world’s scariest runs due to its 78% gradient (read practically a vertical drop!).

Mayrhofen hosts the annual ski/music festival, Snowbombing. For one week pubs, cafes, the butchers and artic lorries (in town and up the mountains,) are transformed into clubbing paradise hosting acts such as Disciples, Grandmaster Flash and Chase and Status. One of the coolest aspects of Snowbombing is the Snow Park Terrace on the mountain. The festival also takes over the White Lounge Igloo which is situated at 2.000 meters above sea level on Ahorn. Grab your tickets and make this your first festival on snow!


Plan Your Trip to Mayrhofen This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Mayrhofen – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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Sölden

Solden, Oetztal
Location:
Tyrol
Height of Ski Area:
1350m – 3340m
Skiable Area: 145km (48% Novice, 31% Intermediate, 21% Advanced)
Notable Features: Austria’s only ski area with 3 mountains higher than 3,000 meters – known as the Big3Rally they are some of the most beautiful lookouts you will ever ski to! And to get back down is a 15km thigh burner!
Other Attractions in the Area: Night skiing, Spas, tobogganing, Ice skating & curling, paragliding.

Resort Overview:
Sölden is the largest ski resort in the Oetztal valley and its “Think big, think Sölden” slogan is applicable to both its terrain and nightlife.
Boasting 2 Glaciers at it’s peak – which are both in easy reach for every level of skier, the snow conditions are typically second to none between December and April (with 77% of the resort topped up with snow making facilities outside these month when there is less than average snowfalls) with enough on piste and off piste terrain to keep everyone happy.
There is also a large park with various boxes, jumps, rails and jibs and a boardercross run for those that need a bit more adrenaline in their lives.
The ski area itself has more than 30 Mountain huts where you can grab a drink or reasonably priced bite to eat. I recommend The Ice-Q Panoramic Restaurant (and James Bond filming location!) for the ultimate in fine dining with a view; the Alpengasthof Gaislachalm out to the far left of the resort for traditional ‘Groetzl’ with sweeping views over the nearby valley; and if you want the best burger on the hill, head to S’tabele Schrimbar where the owners are always up for a shot or two of schnapps!


Plan Your Trip to Soelden This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Solden – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!



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Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis

Serfaus-Fiss-LadisRecommended by Lotte from Phenomenal Globe

Location: Tyrol
Height of Ski Area:
1200m – 2820m
Skiable Area: 212km (22% Novice, 57% Intermediate, 21% Advanced)
Notable Features: State of the art ski lift system can transport 90,000 winter sports fans per hour!

Resort Overview:
There are so many great slopes, about 212 kilometers in total. The longest slope one is more than 11 kilometers long, part of it goes through the trees and other parts are wide and open (perfect for carving)! There is a fun park for those brave enough to try but also plenty of slopes for beginning skiers. Most lifts are chairlifts, some even have heating seating, bliss…

As with most Austrian resorts, the nightlife and après-ski is the stuff hangovers are made of – but you’ll have an absolute blast whether you fancy a quiet drink or a full blown party. The ski area has 3 villages (Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis) so there is plenty of accommodation to choose from. And if you don’t mind driving to the slopes each morning you can find great deals a little further from these villages.


Plan Your Trip to Serfaus – Fiss – Ladis This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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St Anton am Arlberg

St Anton am Arlberg
Height of Ski Area:
1304m – 2811m
Skiable Area: 305km (43% Novice, 40% Intermediate, 17% Advanced)
Notable Features: 4 parks & the longest run is 9km
Other Attractions in the Area:

Resort Overview:
St. Anton is one of the world’s best known resorts. Its serious terrain attracts the hard-core skiers, and its famous après ski bar the Krazy Kanguruh a strong contender for the title of ‘the Alps most legendary ski bar’ for nearly 50 years. But this cult ski resort isn’t all about tough skiing and hard partying. Its broad appeal has expanded along with the Arlberg ski area, which now stretches to 340km of pistes (one of the six largest ski areas in the world) and offers skiing for all abilities. Off the slopes, you’ll find a wide range of shopping, dining and accommodation with plenty of luxury/gourmet choices, excellent leisure facilities and a pedestrianised centre.


Plan Your Trip to St Anton Am Arlberg This Winter

Book a ski package deal to St Anton – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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The Best Ski Resorts in France

Portes du Soleil

Portes du SoleilRecommended by Inma @ A World To Travel

 

Location: Combines 13 Resorts across France & Switzerland
Height of Ski Area:
1000m – 2466m
Skiable Area: 650km (12% Beginner, 42% Novice, 35% Intermediate, 11% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Biggest International ski area in the world; 11 parks & 4 boardercross throughout the area, 200km of cross country trails and over 100 on-piste restaurants.

Resort Overview:
Suitable for everyone, from beginners through to advanced, skiers and snowboarders alike, it is the perfect all round-resort. Although it is not one of the highest resorts in Europe, Portes du Soleil usually enjoys lots of powder that attracts every kind of crowds. (And is the perfect place to test run those powder skis!) Fun is not a problem either and Avoriaz (see below) has a few nightclubs to party the night away if bad weather is in the forecast for the next day. Last but not least, you are never waiting too long in the queues due to its massive skiable domain.

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Morzine-Avoriaz

Morzine - AvoriazRecommended by Suzanne at The Travel Bunny

Height of Ski Area:
1000m – 2466m
Skiable Area: 172km (20% Beginner, 47% Novice, 36% Intermediate, 13% Advanced)
Noteable Features: The Stash – snow park designed by Burton + access to the huge 650km ski area of Portes du Soleil
Other Attractions in the Area: Cross Country Skiing, Day Spas, Husky Sledding, Helicopter Rides, Snowmobiling etc.

Resort Overview:
Morzine-Avoriaz are two ski resorts in the Portes du Soleil area of the French Alps near to the Swiss border. The neighbouring towns are very different but the two styles complement each other perfectly.

Avoriaz is the highest resort at 1800m. It’s one of the most reliable for snow even late into the season. It perches dramatically on a high plateau above the town of Morzine in the Haute-Savoie. Its dramatic dark wood and slate-built sloping apartments have been designed to integrate into the landscape. It’s a no-car zone (there is parking) so only skiers, skidoos and horse-drawn sleighs can be seen around the resort. It’s ski-in/ski-out and once there you’re never more than a five-minutes from the main lifts. There’s a variety of shops, bars and restaurants but Hôtel Les Dromonts is the only hotel.

Morzine is set in a beautiful valley below Avoriaz and is an original Alpine town. Skiers have made tracks here for over 80 years. The town is made up of wooden chalets and is packed with shops, bars, hotels and restaurants. People live in the town all year round so it has a community feel and an authentic vibe opposed to a purpose-built resort. There’s a small ice-rink in the town square and an open-air area for live music and events.

Morzine-Avoriaz is linked by lifts including an ultra-modern giant gondola. There’s skiing and boarding for all levels. Avoriaz and the next door Les Gets, are brilliant for newbies and families with wide beginner slopes and plenty of ski-schools. All other levels are massively catered for from forest-lined cruisey blues to racy reds, slick blacks and, for expert skiers, The Wall – a near vertical piste. Snowboarders will love The Stash snow-park, a “shredders” dream, designed by Jake Burton. It’s an eco-friendly park, set in un-pisted snow in Lindarêts forest.


Plan Your Trip to Morzine – Avoriaz This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Morzine-Avoriaz – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


Become a ski instructor

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Three Valleys (Le Trois ValLees) – CourchevEl, Meribel & Val Thorens

Val Thorens - Trois Vallee, France

Height of Ski Area: 1100m – 3200m
Skiable Area: 600km (15% Beginner, 38% Novice, 35% Intermediate, 12% Advanced)
Notable Features: The worlds largest ski area
Other Attractions in the Area: Paragliding, ice skating, tobogganing, sledging.

Resort Overview:
Comprising a total of 8 resorts – the three main ones being Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens – the entire Three Valley’s resort is the big daddy of them all. From up-market celeb attracting Courcheval – which has a polo match on the piste in the middle of the winter season, who’s village shops stock more fur than you can shake a stick at and has an airstrip at around 2000m for the wealthy to come and go as they please; to the more relaxed Meribel which has been a favorite with Brits for years. Being the middle resort it offers easy access to both the Courcheval  and Val Thorens sides and slightly less extortionate prices in the village. And then there is Val Thorens – highly regarded as one of the best resorts on its own and is home to La Folie Douce – a nightclub in the clouds where the apres-ski starts as early as midday. With live music and dancing on the tables, it really is an experience not to be missed. (Just make sure you if you’re staying in Courcheval you leave yourself enough time to get back across to resort – it’s one expensive taxi ride from the bottom if not!)


Plan Your Trip to The Three Valleys This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Courcheval, Meribel or Val Thorens – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!



Risoul

Risoul
Height of Ski Area:
1850m – 2750m
Skiable Area: 85km (19% Beginner, 49% Novice, 26% Intermediate, 7% Advanced)
Notable Features: Extensive park with some huge jumps which is maintained each year
Other Attractions in the Area: Mont-Dauphin fortified walled city

Resort Overview:
This little known ski resort in the Southern Alps doesn’t seem to garner a lot of attention from the international ski community, but it is absolutely one of my favorite ski towns on the planet and – for me at least – one of the best ski resorts in France!
Twinned on the other side of the mountain with the smaller resort of Vars there is an incredible mix of long open sweeping runs down the mountain coupled with winding tree runs and some of the best off-piste in the alps.
The village itself is relatively small in comparison to other French resorts, but there are enough apres-ski bars to keep ever the hardest of partiers happy – not to forget the ‘La Grotte du Yetti’ (affectionately called the ‘Sweaty Yetti’ by seasonairres) which is the apres bar located on the piste just above resort center where you can touch the roof with your hands and dance the night away like its 1999.


Plan Your Trip to Risoul This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Risoul – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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Chamonix

Chamonix - Mont Blanc

Height of Ski Area: 1042m – 3275m
Skiable Area: 150km (3% Beginner, 28% Novice, 39% Intermediate, 29% Advanced)
Notable Features: 15000 acres of off piste skiing available! and access to the 400km Mont Blanc Ski area.
Other Attractions in the Area: Mont Blanc

Resort Overview:
No round up of the best ski resorts in the world would be complete without Chamonix on it’s list. Chamonix is the place to go for alpine thrill seekers wanting to push themselves to the extreme. The resort is known the world over for its steep, challenging runs, off-piste powder, and dramatic mountain scenery (Hello, Mont Blanc!). Its legendary 20-kilometre (12-mile) Valley Blanche is a high off-piste run, the longest in Europe, and a rite of passage for ballsy skiers on their way to becoming experts. Chamonix hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924 and is considered by many to be the birthplace of alpine skiing. The resort is a large, yet attractive town offering both traditional charm and a lively nightlife ranging from classy cocktail bars to the no-holds-barred (and seasonaire favorite) Bar’d Up.


Plan Your Trip to Chamonix This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Chamonix – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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Recommended Ski Resorts in Finland

Rukatunturi (Ruka)

Ruka Ski ResortRecommended by Justine at Wanderer of the World

Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Height of Ski Area:
490m
Skiable Area: 19km (48% Novice, 37% Intermediate, 15% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Over 500km of cross country skiing tracks and over 600km of snowmobile tracks; the majority of the pistes are illuminated for night skiing + the resort is open for 200 days of the year!
Other Attractions in the Area: Husky sledding, sleigh rides & Snowmobiling

Resort Overview:
With its 34 slopes, and myriad of snowsports, (Ruka) offers a lot of variety to skiers and snow lovers alike. Based in the north of Finland (not too far away from Lapland), temperatures easily get up to -30 degrees Celsius in the winter.
As the temperatures dip way past freezing regularly, you may sometimes find that ski lifts are shut, making some of the more advanced runs off limit for a few days (or at least quite difficult to get to). This won’t stop you from skiing though, as there are t-bar lifts you can use instead.
The resort has certainly tried to cater to those who may not be as used to these temperatures, by installing cabins at various points along the slopes and at the summit. These cabins come complete with large log fires and benches, so that you can take a breather (and a break from the cold) whilst you ski around the resort.
All in all, this is a great resort for Intermediate and Advanced skiers, those who want to try other snow activities besides skiing and those who are looking for a ski resort a bit more off the grid than the usual European destinations.

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Recommended Ski resorts in Norway

Geilo

GeiloRecommended by Rosalie at Rosalie Goes

Height of Ski Area:
800m – 1178m
Skiable Area: 34km (24% Beginner, 37% Novice, 26% Intermediate, 15% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Home to Europe’s largest plateau with over 500km of cross country ski trails; it’s northern location means you can often ski to 8pm!
Other Attractions in the Area: Snowkiting, ice track driving, snow rafting, dog sledding, tobogganing, cruise down the icy fjord or ride in a horse drawn sleigh.

Resort Overview:
Geilo is located halfway between Oslo and Bergen amongst the majestic Hallingskarvet mountain range, in the valley of Hallingdal. The season opens in October and ends in April, and thanks to its northern latitude you’ll be able to ski until as late as 8 in the evening in the springtime. There are 20 lifts and 39 runs in total, all of them quite easy, making it an ideal location for families and beginners. More advanced skiers will delight in the bountiful tree runs through the lush forests and relatively empty slopes.

Geilo is Norway’s oldest alpine resort, and the town itself has earned itself a reputation for being rather swanky. You won’t see any rowdy après celebrations or groups of students partying until the early morning. Rather, you’ll find an atmosphere of quiet, laid back luxury with a variety of fine dining and boutique hotels. In Geilo you will also get to experience a great deal of traditional Norwegian culture, such as reindeer steaks at dinner and mountain huts serving fresh waffles hot mulled wine.

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The Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland

Zermatt

ZermattRecommended by Gordon of Short Holidays and Getaways

Height of Ski Area: 1619m – 3898m
Skiable Area: 360km (21% Novice, 62% Intermediate, 17% Advanced)
Noteable Features: 1 Park, Heli skiing available and you can ski to Italy! (don’t forget your passport!)
Other Attractions in the Area: The Matterhorn + Matterhorn Museum, Glacier Express connecting Zermatt & St Moritz

Resort Overview:
The car free mountain village of Zermatt is one of the most amazing ski resorts in Switzerland, and in Europe. This is because the massive Matterhorn mountain overlooks the massive 360km of skiing area. With guaranteed snow, 365 days of the year and the ability to ski into Cervinia in Italy for lunch and then ski back to Switzerland for dinner makes it an appealing, albeit expensive, ski destination.
Zermatt is the highest ski resort in Europe, a true ‘mountain resort’ and skiing here is different. With the average snowfall for December sitting around the 160cm mark, you are practically always guaranteed an early season opening every year. The ski area itself is very expansive, with very few trees, yet there are cafes and restaurants along many of the trails. It is not ideal for beginners, but it is fantastic for intermediate and advanced skiers; and like here there is a saying:  “In Zermatt, the après ski begins at noon!”


Plan Your Trip to Zermatt This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Zermatt – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!



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Saas Fee


Saas Fee
Height of Ski Area:
1800m – 3600m
Skiable Area: 100km (37% Novice, 40% Intermediate, 13% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’ with an Ice Grotto and revolving restaurant at it’s peak.
Other Attractions in the Area: Central Europe’s longest zipline across the Fee Gorge, sledding, cross country skiing, tobogganing and lots of eating at the numerous restaurants in town.

Resort Overview:
This car free village is known as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’ because it is the very definition of ‘chocolate box village’. Electric run golf-buggy style carts can be seen buzzing guests from the arrival spot to their hotels, and when the snow falls, it’s just magical.
The resort is topped by a glacier, the presence of which means the resort (normally) gets decent coverage each year and can be skied throughout summer too. Perfect for all levels of skiers and snowboarders with beginners taught at the lower village level before being let loose on the mountain where there is great sweeping slopes to carve and a park for those who like to do tricks.
After a hard day on the slopes there is plenty of apres-ski to be had in the village, and now there is also a 56 seater electric train-on-wheels which runs around resort and can take you back to your hotel.
And whilst you’re there – head to the local Migros supermarket and pick up some of their own brand chocolate – it’s pretty good: some even say better than Milka!


Plan Your Trip to Saas Fee This Winter

Book a ski package deal to Saas Fee – get your accommodation, equipment and lift passes all in one place & then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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h3>Verbier
Verbier Switzerland
Height of Ski Area:
1500m – 3330m
Skiable Area: 177km (36% Novice, 37% Intermediate, 27% Advanced)
Noteable Features: It’s a hotspot for celeb spotting!
Other Attractions in the Area: Dog Sledding, paragliding, wine tasting, spa days

Resort Overview:
Known as ‘Ver-bi-ah, dahling’ by most people who have worked in the ski industry, on account of it attracting Europe’s wealthy elite, it is easily one of the best resorts in Europe. At the centre of the Four Valleys, it is also one of the largest ski areas in Europe and has everything a top-class winter-sports resort should have. The chalet-style village perches atop a sunwashed plateau and provides views of the majestic mountain peaks. The skiing area stretches from 1,500 to 3,330m. and thanks to the height and fine snow conditions, 93 lifts across the 4 valley’s area let you access over 400km of runs. Novices and experts alike will find exactly the kind of skiing they are looking for here and after that there is a rich variety of restaurants, shops, bars and discos to help get your apres-ski on.


Plan Your Trip to Verbier This Winter

Where to Stay:
The 10 Best Hotels for your Verbier Ski Vacation
Pre-Book Your Lift Tickets To Secure The Best Rate
Arrange Any Ski Hire
Then all you need are cheap flights!


 

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Rochers de Naye

MontreuxRecommended by Margherita at The Crowded Planet

Location: Montreux
Height of Ski Area:
1000m – 2042m
Skiable Area: 8km (0% Novice, 67% Intermediate, 33% Advanced)
Noteable Features: 1000m vertical drop
Other Attractions in the Area: Goldenpass Train

Resort Overview:
The town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Leman is one of my favourite places in Switzerland, because of its scenic lakeside location surrounded by mountains. If you’re visiting in winter, one of the best things to do near Montreux is visiting Rochers de Naye, a tiny but amazing ski resort. The resort is easy to access with the Goldenpass train departing from Montreux station, twisting its way up the mountains – and when you get off at Rochers de Naye station, you can just clip on your skis on the platform… and go!

The altitude of the Rochers de Naye ski resort is 2042 meters (6699 ft) and there’s one place where you can stay right on the slopes, also offering accommodation in Mongolian yurts, but I am not sure if those are also open in winter. When we visited, most people seemed to be staying in Montreux and took the train up and down every day – the train ticket also allowed access to the runs for the day. Not a particularly good resort for absolute beginners with the heavy concentration of red and black runs, but there seemed to be enough to do for novice-intermediate skiers, including a couple of long, panoramic ski runs.

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The Best Ski Resorts in Japan

Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa OnsenRecommended by Paula at Contented Traveller

Height of Ski Area: 1650m
Skiable Area: 50km (40% Novice; 30% Intermediate & 30% Advanced)
Other Attractions in the Area: Multiple Hot Springs in the village and the famous Japanese Snow Monkeys are located 30km from the village.

Resort Overview:
Nozawa Onsen is one of the most popular and best ski resorts in Japan, because of the relentless amount of powder that falls, and because it is a traditional Japanese village. The village is famous for the public hot springs, called onsen, hence its name.
Nozawa Onsen village has many bars. cafe’s and restaurants and is located in the northern part of the Nagano Prefecture on the main island of Japan. It is 46km from Nagano and 249km north west of Tokyo. It is easy to reach as the Shinkansen (bullet train) takes you straight from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen, and there are also the options of the bus or taxi to take you there.

The ski area on Nozawa Onsen is one of the largest in Japan covering some 298 hectares with 50 runs suitable for all levels. The average snow depth is 3.5 meters of mostly champagne powder. There is an elevation of 1650m, and a vertical fall of 1085metres making for some very long runs. One of the runs for beginner to intermediate levels is a thigh burning 10km home ski run, which takes you from the top down to Hikage – the start of the village of Nozawa Onsen. But don’t worry, there are many traditional Japanese cafes on piste when you need a sake break or a ramen noodle boost.

 

Kiroro Snow World

Kiroro JapanRecommended by Juliette at Snorkels To Snow

Location: Hokkaido
Height of Ski Area:
570m – 1180m
Skiable Area: 30km (30% Beginner-Novice, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced)
Noteable Features: Snowshoeing, Sledding & Tubing & Traditional Onsen available
Other Attractions in the Area: Closest town of Niseko is 1 hour away

Resort Overview:
If you love tree skiing and finding freshies, then Kiroro Ski Resort in northern Japan is the mountain you’ve been waiting to explore. Just an hour away from the popular Niseko, which is typically filled to the brim with Australians, New Zealanders and Brits, Kiroro sees far fewer crowds, with a good chance of having every gondola ride all to yourself.
The Hokkaido region in northern Japan is famous for its powder skiing, but locals say Kiroro has the best snow around. In fact, the top gondola station averages a 5m snow base and the resort enjoys on average an annual 17m snowfall.

But what makes Kiroro so special is the picturesque setting; apart from the main groomed trails, the two mountains are blanketed in trees. Head off-piste and enjoy deep powder, with plenty of opportunities to make first tracks. There are 21 runs, equally divided among beginner, intermediate and advanced runs with the steepest slope rising at a 36.8 degree angle and the longest run being 4km. There is also an easy park where budding ticksters can test out their moves. The best runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders are off the groomed trails and depending on staff observations, you may be required to submit a backcountry plan if you plan to cross the ropes and ski outside the resort boundaries.

It’s only a medium sized resort, so after four to five days you might be wanting to explore other areas – but the powder is deep, the trails are scenic, the trees are gorgeous and the crowds are minimal.


And that’s a wrap folks! I hope this travel guide to the best ski resorts has given you lots of ideas for planning your next ski vacation (and with so many to choose from, possibly the ski holiday after that too!) Let me know if I have included your favorites – and definitely let me know if I have missed somewhere you love. And I’d love to hear your recommendations for Italy as I haven’t had the pleasure of skiing there yet!

Finally – (and congratulations if you’re still with me at this point! Good job!) – if you liked this article, please tweet, pin or share on Facebook! As always, full sized pins are available by clicking the P in the sharebar. (pst. there are hidden pins too!)

Best ski resorts in Canada    Best Ski Resorts in France

Best Ski Resorts in AustriaBest Ski Resorts in the USA

 

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24 thoughts on “The Best Ski Resorts in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan & Beyond!

  1. Lotte says:

    Wow this is one heck of a list! I love skiing so much and these pictures make me wish winter was here already… Thank you for putting together this extensive resource!

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Lotte! I must admit I’ve been ready to click on my skis for the past few weeks as I’ve been putting this together! There are so many incredible resorts out there!

  2. Kavita Favelle says:

    What an epic resource! I’m so torn when it comes to skiing, and thus far I’ve never tried it. I love the beauty of snow-covered slopes and the appeal of apres-ski but I have two left feet and really am very bad at physical dexterity!😂 I’m loving that you give a resort over view for each place so skiers can hone in on what they want. Japan is where I’d go, I think!

  3. Bob R says:

    GREAT overview! Toss in a bit of Italy, and you’ll be all set. 😉 Am most familiar with the Austria offering and it’s a good one; there are one or two others I’d add but that’s all largely personal preference. Can’t wait for the season to get underway. 🙂

  4. Juergen says:

    Such pretty pictures. I know my wife would get excited by all that beautiful white snow. Me? I moved from Europe to Australia foremost because I can’t stand the cold. So skiing is certainly not my thing, not even for the “Aprés-Ski”…

  5. Siddhartha Joshi says:

    Wow! This is the most exhaustive post on ski-resorts across the continents…I love how you’ve given options for travelers with all budgets. The only place among these that I’ve been to is Aspen and have fond memories from there 🙂

  6. Anne Slater-Brooks says:

    Wow this is epic and has given me some great ideas for future trips. I loved skiing in Japan and Morzine but would love to try some of the others here.

  7. Liz Deacle says:

    Reading this post made me want to get to a ski resort. Those photos are divine. There is somethiing about a ski resort. We worked in Whistler for a year and it was just lovely. Although at the moment we have had such a rubbish winter here in New Zealand, Im actually craving some sun and a beach!

    • Vicki says:

      I know the feeling (I’m in Oz!) – and I got serious ski envy putting this post together! I suppose Japan will be the nearest option for both of us!

  8. Tara says:

    We always have lots of skiing options here in Vermont, and the nearest ski mountain is just minutes from our house. Still, they are but hills compared to many of these areas you mention. Great round-up for adventurous travelers.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Tara! And that’s awesome you have a ski resort near your house – even if you only classify it as a hill! I’d take easy access and skiing whenever I want over a big resort anyday!

  9. Medha says:

    This is an incredibly helpful and descriptive guide, I can see that you’ve been for many ski trips and I’m amazed ! Unfortunately I haven’t even been for one and never had the opportunity to learn how to ski. The winter park in Colorado looks amazing as do all your pictures! Thanks for sharing

    • Vicki says:

      Thank Medha – I was lucky enough to work in 5 different ski resorts in Europe, but I’m yet to get to the American resorts myself, but a few people were kind enough to help me out with this post 🙂

  10. Sol Solntze says:

    Well now. I *want* to go to the Jackon Hole resort, because of its location. But since I can’t ski at all, I suspect this might be impractical… It was useful to give an indication of the different percentages of beginner slopes and so on for people like me for cure!

  11. Kevin Wagar says:

    Thanks so much for including us in the most epic of all ski lists! There is so much inspiration here, time to dust off my snowboard!

  12. Tami says:

    Wow – what a comprehensive list of ski resorts…and so much detailed information about each one, too. Of these, I’ve only been to Park City, but then I don’t ski much any more. But I wouldn’t mind checking out all of these just for the views and winter ambience!

  13. Saakshi says:

    Wow, that’s a like a treasure for skiing lovers. Panorama from British Columbia has to be my favorite. I loved the magical picture of the view. Although, I don’t know skiing yet, but it’s on my wish list. Someday!

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